Post for a paycheck: student brand ambassadors promote fashion through social media

Students are being hired by popular brands to showcase their apparel around campus

A combination of fashion-forward outfits, pristine lighting and perfect backdrops have bred a popular new job on the ASU campus: brand ambassadors.

These students have found a way to connect clothing and accessory brands with their campus through photography and social media. Believe it or not, there is an art to the perfect Instagram post, and their job is depending on it.  

Chloe VanMeveren, a film production junior, works as a brand ambassador for Express. Her job entails promoting the brand all across campus and getting other students interested in the products.

“What I do is post with the clothes and host events throughout the year where we give out coupons and gift cards,” VanMeveren said. “We get bonuses if people use the coupon codes, and we have individual coupon codes so they can track what we do. Mainly, my job is posting on social media, which I do anyways."

With an interest in photography, VanMeveren takes time to set up the perfect picture, often using a tripod to get the best angle. She either poses in her Express clothes on the way to work or uses what is known as a “flat lay” in the Instagram world. This technique is used when clothes are laid out against a complementary backdrop. Using this, she can arrange her clothes into a composition with accessories and a simple background and similar color scheme, creating an aesthetically-pleasing post.

-the essentials- Happy #FitnessFriday everyone! @express #EXPcore #expresspartner #expressU

A photo posted by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Chloe VanMeveren (@chloevanmeveren) on

"I’m majoring in film, so I take time to set up my pictures," she said. "I live in an apartment with exposed cement and brick, so I use that [as a background]. I like to go around downtown Phoenix to take pictures in the outfits.”

As far as the content of the photos, that’s where VanMeveren’s artistic eye and niche for fashion comes in.

“There’s a lot of freedom because you get to have your own certain style," she said. "They give us a $400 gift card every semester, and with that money we go to the store and buy clothes. Then we are required to post at least once on every social media platform.”

Lizzy Peterson, a sophomore design management major, said being a brand ambassador requires knowing the best angles to shoot and ensuring the merchandise pops out in every post.  She works for  Michael Kors and helps to make their merchandise more student-appropriate.

For Michael Kors, Peterson was required to pose with merchandise in the store as well as post pre-taken photos of the newest accessories.

A photo posted by Lizzy Peterson (@shmizzyy) on

“It was kind of awkward because there were shoppers, and I was just posing against the wall," Peterson said. "I wore a little black dress there because you have to think specifically who you’re aiming towards for a company, and Michael Kors has pretty classic stuff."

Peterson receives gift cards as her payment, but said she feels that the connections she has made through Michael Kors are the greatest payoff.

“It’s intertwined with the company  ‘Intern-Queen,’ and we have interviews with the CEO of the company; they help with internships in the future," she said.

Sophomore  Kerry Gay, an exploratory and behavioral sciences major, has always been interested in fashion and is embracing her role as a brand ambassador for Express. 

“I follow a bunch of fashion bloggers on Instagram, and I never thought I would have (this kind of) opportunity, especially as a college student,” she said.

A spider bit me while I took this #expressu #expresspartner

A photo posted by Kerry Gay (@kerryg177) on

Gay has trained her eye to look for potential picture locations and said she has an eye for lighting.

“When I’m out and about, I now look for where would be a cool picture," she said.

Along with discounts and the clothes, Gay said she has been able to broaden her own outlook on fashion.

“It’s cool to be able to express yourself through your clothes, which is something I’ve always done, and it’s a company I really believe in,” Gay said. "It’s made me more confident.”

Students can expect to see these brands and more hosting events around campus throughout the year.

Reach the reporter at or follow  @karismasandoval onTwitter. 

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